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The end of net neutrality is here

11 June 2018

Opinion polls show overwhelming public support for the net neutrality rules.

The Federal Communications Commission's repeal of net neutrality rules was voted on previous year, and it finally comes into effect today (June 11).

Net neutrality rules were enacted to keep internet providers from blocking certain websites and changing the speed of access to some content.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai (R) wrote in an op-ed Monday that consumers will still be protected under the new framework. And rightly so. The gutting of net neutrality is a symbol of our broken democracy. The principle was born as regulators, consumer advocates and internet companies voiced concern about what broadband companies could do with their power as the gateway to the internet - blocking or slowing down apps that rival their own services, for example. Those on the political left (and about 83 percent of Americans) feel that net neutrality regulations were important for personal freedom and made for a more fair marketplace.

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Pai also called the new course of action a "tremendous bipartisan success" and noted that the rules were "especially harmful for smaller internet service providers who didn't have the means to withstand a regulatory onslaught". His order, touted as promoting investment and broadband deployment, loosens the FCC's regulation of ISPs, and instead gives the Federal Trade Commission jurisdiction to enforce violations. Ahead of the December 14 commission vote that ended those Obama-era net neutrality regulations, current FCC Chairman Ajit Pai called those same rules a " heavy-handed, utility-style.mistake" and pledged to stop the federal government from "micromanaging" the internet by introducing a new set of "internet freedom" regulations.

"Today, the Trump Administration has set into motion the destruction of the free and open Internet", she claimed. As we pointed out at the time of the Senate vote, the CRA now has to pass the House where the Democrats that support the Act are greatly outnumbered.

The FTC would theoretically file lawsuits against ISPs that make net neutrality promises and then break them. "Democrats are fighting in the courts and in the Congress to protect Americans' interests and restore these vital protections, and we will continue to demand a vote on Congressman Mike Doyle's resolution to force a vote to restore net neutrality". "Plain and simple, thanks to the FCC's rollback of Net Neutrality, Internet providers have the legal green light, the technical ability, and business incentive to discriminate and manipulate what we see, read, and learn online".

The end of net neutrality is here